Here are Rituals after death in Hinduism and why its important for Hindus

No creature born on this earth is immortal. The word ‘immortal’ is just a word. It has nothing to do with reality. Every living being born on earth has to leave this world one day or the other, and this is the reality of the universe. There are two types of creatures in the world, a human and an animal.

Animals have nothing to do with customs, society etc. Whereas man is a social animal. Man is bound in the bondage of social customs from birth till death. Right from the birth of a child till its death, customs have to be followed at every step. There are many religions in this world, and each religion has different customs. The religion in which the creature is born, he has to follow the customs of that religion for the rest of his life.

Even after the death of a man, the last rites of a man are performed by following different customs in different religions. Hindu, Muslim, Sikh or Christian, each religion’s funeral method is different. In some religion the dead body is cremated, while in some it is buried. According to the religion, the process of last rites is completed in different ways. For the peace of the soul of the dead body, it is very necessary to perform the last rites according to its religion, following the customs.

Rituals after death in Hinduism

In Hinduism, after the death of a person, the custom followed for his last rites is something like this. First of all, it is necessary to keep in mind that the last rites are always performed before sunset. If a person dies after sunset, one should wait for sunrise the next day to perform the last rites. Till then the head of the dead body should be kept in the north direction and feet in the south direction. Dead bodies should not be left alone.

This process is done before being taken to the cremation ground.

To start the process of cremation, the dead body is first bathed. After the bath, the deceased is covered with a white shroud. A sheet named Ram is put over the shroud. After this, the dead body is bid farewell by wearing a garland made of flowers. If a married woman dies, her complete makeup is done before the last farewell. After complete makeup, the woman’s husband decorates her vermilion for the last time. In this way, along with the complete makeup, the married woman is sent on the last journey.

Process after reaching the cremation ground

Before reaching the cremation ground, the family members circumambulate the body. After this the deceased is taken to the cremation ground. Some special things are also taken care of while taking the body towards the cremation ground. Like in the beginning when the body is taken towards the cremation ground, the head is kept towards the front and the feet towards the back. There is a provision to place the body on an altar after carrying it some distance away. The belief behind this is that by doing this the dead person can see the world for the last time. After this when the body is raised then its direction is changed. Now the feet are moved forward and the head is turned back. The belief behind this is that now the bond of the dead body with the world has been broken, and it is moving forward looking at the way to the cremation ground.

After reaching the cremation ground, when the dead body is laid on the pyre, its head is always directed towards the south. Before lighting the funeral pyre at the cremation ground, the person performing the last rites circumambulates the pyre with water in a holed pitcher. After the parikrama is completed, the pot is broken, it is a religious belief that disillusionment with the dead body can be removed by doing this process. Along with this, it is also believed that by doing this action, all the elements of water, fire, sky and earth are included in the process of funeral. Following all the rules properly, the pyre is lit in the last.

Pind Daan is done after cremation.

Shudak goes on for 10 days in the house after the cremation of the deceased. During which many other rules have to be followed along with catering. On the tenth day, after Shanti Karma, the process of Mundan Sanskar is performed. It is mandatory for all the relatives of the deceased to have the mundan rites. On the 12th day the process of Pindadan is done. After this, a death feast is organized on the 13th day. In this way, after 13 days of this legal process, the soul of the deceased person goes on a journey to another world.